DAVID and Caroline Urbani, the retiring chairman and secretary of the Farnham branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Intuition (RNLI), have been honoured with awards for outstanding service.
The pair have both served on the Farnham committee for 18 years. Roy Norgrove had been chairman until 1999 and his resignation letter in The Herald prompted David and Caroline to volunteer to keep the branch alive.
Since then the branch has funded one of the first Thames Lifeboats, the extension to Hayling Island Lifeboat Station as well as regularly raising around £10,000 a year to fund the ongoing lifesaving work of the RNLI.
Their awards recognise the outstanding service they have provided to the Institution through local fundraising activities. Caroline has organised street collections where a large number of volunteers collect throughout the town and surrounding villages.
Other events that they have both organised have included participation in the Farnham Carnival, village fetes, collections at Sainsbury and Lidl, and the ever-popular Rowledge Village quiz night. In addition the branch has organised informative talks and fundraising events such as a Wine Bluff evening.
On receiving his award David said that he had enjoyed his time as chairman but had felt that it was time to hand over the reins. He hoped that sufficient volunteers would come forward to support the future branch activities.
He encouraged all local sailors and interested people to contact the committee and see how they could support the local branch.
Nigel Cuthbert, the new chairman, on presenting the awards paid tribute to the commitment and dedication of David and Caroline over many years and wished them both well.
He said that their retirement opens up opportunities for new committee members and hopes that others will come forward to help:
“I have been speaking with the RNLI and they are going to support us with a volunteering drop in evening which we are holding on Friday, April 7, 7.30 to 9.30pm, at the Conservative Club in Ivy Lane off Downing Street.
“This will give local people the opportunity to meet the current committee members, officials from the RNLI and we are lucky to also have the manager of the busy Tower Lifeboat Station coming to talk about the frontline work of the RNLI. We hope anyone interested in this work will come.”
The Farnham branch can be contacted at rnli.farn